Fifteen stops. Much love. And endless appreciations. Now for some ARTIFICE excerpt.
Artifice: Ben and Laura, can you describe the process of working with each other to develop the illustrations? How did you get in touch? How much contact did the two of you have before getting started?
Ben Tanzer: I would really like this answer to be so much cooler than it is. But, I sort of knew Laura personally from different readings and other events, had compulsively zipped around her website, though not in any stalkerish kind of way, really, and was a fan of her and her work and style. That said, it was CCLaPs idea to bring our work together and I think it was a terrific one. For me anyway. Laura may find herself increasingly dismayed by the whole thing and is merely keeping-up a happy face for our public appearances.
Laura Szumowski: I was originally approached by Jason Pettus, the publisher, about an illustration project he had in mind. He sent me one of Ben’s stories, The Babysitter, and I loved it.
Originally, Jason wanted me to do something along the lines of Jay Ryan, style wise, but when I talked with Ben, he mentioned Deer Hunter and First Blood as visual inspiration. My instincts from reading the stories agreed with Ben, so I did a few drawings to see what he thought. He said great, keep going– it was as simple as that. Not a whole lot of interaction, nothing too specific. He was comfortable with me taking artistic license, and I think was interested to see what I would draw from his writing.